• China Stock Exchanges issue first corporate sustainability disclosure guidelines: China's three primary stock markets have unveiled their inaugural guidelines for listed firms to disclose sustainability-related information, marking a significant stride toward cultivating a sustainable economy and embracing the global Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) trend. The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), and Beijing Stock Exchange (BSE) each released distinct guidelines on corporate sustainability disclosure and initiated public feedback collection. As per the SSE and SZSE guidelines, companies constituting the SSE 180, STAR 50, SZSE 100, and ChiNext indices, along with dual-listed entities, are mandated to report sustainability information, while others are encouraged to do so voluntarily. Similarly, BSE-listed companies, primarily small and medium-sized enterprises, are encouraged to voluntarily submit sustainability reports. These guidelines aim to standardize listed companies' sustainable development disclosure, encourage the adoption of sustainability principles, and bolster the high-quality development of listed firms. It suggests analyzing and disclosing sustainability-related information under four core areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics/targets, aiding stakeholders in understanding firms' sustainable actions comprehensively. Companies are urged to divulge their governance and strategies concerning climate change, as well as actions related to climate adaptation, emission reduction measures, and opportunities linked to carbon neutrality. Additionally, firms are required to disclose support for China's national development strategies, such as rural revitalization and innovation-driven development. They should also reveal progress in corporate governance areas like anti-corruption, anti-bribery, and anti-unfair competition.


  • China's Jiaolong Submersible to undertake 46 dives on 83rd Ocean Expedition: China’s Jiaolong submersible, alongside its mother ship Shenhai Yihao, has commenced the country's 83rd ocean expedition in the hydrothermal region of the South Atlantic, according to the China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association (COMRA). Equipped with various environmental survey tools, Jiaolong plans to undertake 46 dives to study the marine biological environment. On January 27, Jiaolong conducted its inaugural dive in the South Atlantic, reaching a depth of 3,350 meters and discovering hydrothermal vent communities and a multitude of organisms. It conducted measurements and collected samples, including shrimp and deep-sea mussels. As of Wednesday, Jiaolong had completed eight dives and explored conductivity, temperature, and depth at multiple locations, as reported by COMRA. The 83rd expedition, which departed Qingdao City on December 17, 2023, comprises 81 members from 19 institutes and universities. The focus of the expedition is on scientific issues such as the relationship between biodiversity along mid-ocean ridges, the geographic distribution of hydrothermal organisms, and biological connectivity.


  • Xi Jinping’s Spring Festival speech extends greetings to all Chinese: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council hosted the 2024 Spring Festival reception at the Great Hall of the People on February 8. During the event, Xi Jinping, delivered a speech extending Spring Festival greetings to the Chinese people, including those in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and overseas. Xi highlighted that the past year, characterized by the Year of the Rabbit, marked significant progress in implementing the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. Despite challenges posed by the international environment and the need to promote reform, development, and stability, China made substantial strides towards modernization and development. Notably, the country achieved notable economic growth, scientific and technological advancements, ecological improvements, and strengthened national defence. He emphasized the importance of adhering to the principles of seeking progress while maintaining stability, deepening reform, and prioritizing people's well-being. Xi underscored the significance of 2024 as the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and a critical year for achieving the goals of the 14th Five-Year Plan. He urged continued efforts to deepen reforms, overcome institutional barriers, and foster entrepreneurship to advance Chinese modernization and national rejuvenation. Xi symbolically referred to the upcoming Year of the Dragon as a time for vitality and determination, mirroring the spirit of the dragon in Chinese culture. He called for collective efforts to explore new avenues for progress and dedicate towards advancing Chinese modernization. Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi and Han Zheng, among other leaders, attended the event. The event was attended by leading officials from various political and governmental bodies, as well as representatives from different sectors of society, and featured performances by art workers.


  • Spring festival temple fairs return to Beijing: After a hiatus due to the pandemic, Beijing welcomed back its traditional temple fairs, known for their folk arts and recreational activities, during this year's Spring Festival holiday. The municipal government plans to host these fairs at iconic outdoor venues like Ditan Park and Longtan Park, along with festive celebrations at tourist sites such as the Summer Palace and Zhongshan Park. More than 150 theatres and 100 museums will remain open, offering cultural activities to the public. Additionally, cultural centres and libraries will host various events to enrich visitors' experiences. To boost cinema attendance during the holiday season, the government will release 20 million yuan worth of coupons, aiming to attract more film enthusiasts during this peak period for box-office earnings in China.


  • Chinese tourists set to make over 6 billion domestic trips in 2024: According to a recent report from the China Tourism Academy, Chinese tourists are projected to embark on more than 6 billion domestic trips in 2024, while the total number of inbound and outbound international travellers is anticipated to surpass 260 million. The report, encompassing an assessment of China's tourism performance in 2023 and projections for the upcoming year, underscores a notable recovery in the sector. In 2023, domestic tourism in China witnessed remarkable growth, with revenue and tourist numbers surging by over 100 per cent year-on-year, reaching over 80 per cent of the 2019 levels. International inbound and outbound tourism also experienced significant increases, with the total number of tourists exceeding 190 million, marking a surge of over 280 per cent from the previous year. Railway passenger volume reached 5.565 million, down 32.6% from the previous month but up 100.7% from 2023 and 32% from 2019. Road travel saw 186.43 million people, up 1% from the previous month, with non-commercial passenger cars on expressways and national/provincial roads totalling 174.77 million, a 3.1% increase from the previous month and a significant 50.4% increase from 2019. Water transportation carried 583,000 passengers, up 3% from the previous month and 35.2% from 2023 but down 51.4% from 2019. Civil aviation transported 1.927 million passengers, up 7.2% from the previous month, 109.7% from 2023, and 21.4% from 2019. The research team at the academy noted that the desire to travel among Chinese residents remained strong throughout 2023, with tourists expressing high levels of satisfaction.


  • Authorities combat holiday counterfeiting: Public security agencies nationwide, under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security, have intensified efforts to combat illegal activities, particularly those related to counterfeit products, during the Spring Festival period. Emphasizing equal attention to both major and minor cases, authorities have focused on investigating and dismantling criminal operations involved in the production and distribution of counterfeit goods. This crackdown aims to safeguard public safety and prevent financial losses for consumers. Citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant, opt for reputable sellers and platforms when making purchases, and promptly report any suspicious activities to the relevant authorities or law enforcement agencies.

Top of Form



  • Grieving Chinese Relatives Spend Up to $1,400 to 'Resurrect' Loved Ones with AI: In China, grieving relatives are turning to AI technology to create realistic avatars of their deceased family members, leading to a significant discussion on social media. The Hangzhou Daily reported a rising trend in using AI, also known as "ghost bots," to digitally revive the dead, with people spending between 5,000 and 10,000 yuan on these services. Zhang Zewei, the founder of Super Brain, an AI firm, stated that their technology could replicate the speech and thought patterns of the deceased, assisting numerous families since the firm's establishment in 2023. The majority of clients, particularly elderly parents who have lost children, seek comfort through these services, which offer customisable counselling and three main types of AI assistance. Zhang's team has successfully served over 600 families, requiring clients to provide photos, videos, and recordings of the deceased to enhance the avatar's accuracy. One grieving client, surnamed Wu, found solace in receiving a basic avatar of his deceased son, expressing sentiments of eternal love and reunion in the "metaverse." The story has sparked intrigue and varied reactions on social media, with some viewing the technology as a therapeutic tool for coping with loss, while others express concerns about the psychological impact of relying on AI to maintain connections with the deceased.



  • Similar to China, On May 10, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already introduced new sustainability reporting regulations for the top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalization. This initiative involves the adoption of the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR), a departure from SEBI's previous Business Responsibility Report, to align sustainability reporting with financial reporting standards. The BRSR format is based on the nine principles outlined in the Indian government's "National Guidelines on Responsible Business Conduct," which draw from international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These principles cover various sustainability aspects including business ethics, human rights, environmental safety, and labour practices. Some key disclosures involve ESG risks, environmental impacts, employee well-being, community engagement, consumer relations, and governance practices. The shift towards transparent and standardized ESG disclosures aims to enhance companies' ability to showcase their sustainability efforts and performance, facilitating informed decision-making by investors. The Companies Act, of 2013, and SEBI regulations have introduced initial ESG disclosure requirements, and in 2017, SEBI issued a circular on green debt securities. Additionally, the Indian Banks’ Association released guidelines for responsible financing. While presently limited to the top 1,000 listed companies, BRSR reflects India's progress in ESG regulation and signals broader coverage in the future.  It will be mandatory for the top 1,000 listed companies to annually disclose ESG-related information from the financial year 2022-23.

Prepared By

Sejal Dalvi is a Political Science graduate from the University of Mumbai and now pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy from St.Xavier’s College. Her research interests include International relations, Environment and sustainability and Urban governance. Her research papers have previously been published on NITI TANTRA. Her experiences, coupled with a genuine passion for research and addressing societal challenges, have solidified her commitment to policymaking.

CiCM 10th-11th February 2024

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